Seattle paying $30,000 over withholding of police car data

SEATTLE (AP) — The city of Seattle is paying more than $30,000 to settle a lawsuit over its refusal to release location data of police cars in response to a public records request.

Open-government activist Phil Mocek requested the GPS data in 2013, saying it could show whether cruisers are fairly dispersed across the city.

The Seattle Police Department refused, claiming that it would have required complicated computer programming to turn over the data.

Mocek said the department could very easily copy the plain text files, and he sued last year.

In a settlement this month, the city agreed to provide the data subject to certain redactions — including data revealing home addresses of officers.

The city is paying nearly $18,000 to Mocek and his organization, the Center for Open Policing, plus more than $12,000 for legal fees and costs.